At Carner & DeVita, we have represented victims of car accidents for decades. One of the biggest challenges we have seen is accident victims feeling they have to speak to the other driver’s insurance company.
As Long Island car accident lawyers, we often tell our clients to keep your conversations to a minimum and let your counsel handle most of the correspondence. You may have already been contacted by the other party’s insurance company. What do you do?
Take Care Speaking to Insurance Companies
Always be careful when sharing information with any insurance company, especially one representing an at-fault driver. Restrict the information to your contact details, information that can be found on the police report, and whether or not you’ve had medical attention related to the accident.
You may feel pressured to answer all the questions that are thrown at you. You may be fooled by a pleasant voice and gentle demeanor. Keep reminding yourself that the insurance company is not your friend. You are the only person looking out for your best interest – until you hire your own attorney. The things you say now could come back to affect your ability to have your accident damages covered.
If you are worried about a recent accident or want advice on how to handle insurance companies, talk to an experienced Long Island car accident lawyer. You can schedule a free, no-obligation case review when you call 631-543-7070 or contact us online.
Do You Have to Make a Statement to the Other Insurance Company?
We understand that emotions are high after a car accident. You are overwhelmed and anxious and may not know what steps to take. It’s not unusual for you to feel as though you are required to speak to the other driver’s insurance or anyone “official” sounding.
What you should be worried about at this point is protecting your own financial and legal interests. Keep this at the forefront of every action you take. With this in mind, here are several misconceptions we’d like to clear up:
1. You don’t have to provide a statement to the other driver’s insurance company.
The truth is that you do not have to provide a statement once you’ve given your initial claim details. You do have to disclose certain information, like your name and address, but be careful not to overshare.
2. You don’t have to make a recorded statement.
You do not have to provide the opposing party’s insurance company with a recorded statement. If they ask you to do this or tell you that your conversation is being recorded, stop talking!
3. The insurance company is not on your side.
The insurance company is looking out for themselves and their client. You do not factor into the equation. You may get a sweet-talking representative on the phone, but don’t be fooled into talking too much.
What You Say to Insurers Can Be Used Against You
You’ve heard it on television a million times: “Anything you say or do can be used against you in the court of law.” It’s as true in real life as it is on your favorite crime drama.
Be very careful when speaking with an insurance agent. The agent will do their best to get you to spill the details. If someone asks whether you may have performed actions that could have led to the accident, your answer is “it’s currently being investigated.”
If someone asks how you’re feeling or whether your injuries are bad, your answer about your current medical condition is “I’m not a physician, so I can’t describe specifics, but we will release relevant medical records at the appropriate time.”
It’s safe to provide the insurance agent with your name and contact information. You can confirm the generalities in the police report. Beyond this, avoid saying anything else.
When you speak to the other driver’s insurance adjuster, they know all the tricks in the book. They will work on you as hard as they can to get you to make a statement that can be used against you. This is especially true if they have a recorded statement they can scrutinize. A recorded statement does nothing for you and everything for the other party. Do not ruin your case by giving damaging information to the at-fault party, their insurance company, or their attorney.
Carner & DeVita Are Your Legal Advocates After a Long Island Car Accident
At the end of the day, the best advice we can offer car accident victims is this – avoid talking to insurers too much. The less you speak with them, the lower your chance of making a mistake.
The good news is that you can use the internet to communicate, especially if the insurance company has an app you can use. That gives you time to think about what you are going to say and edit your answers before it’s too late. However, even with emails or online messaging, be cautious about sharing too much.
When you are asked the tough questions, the best answer you can have is, “You need to speak with my attorney.” You can use that answer once you call our Long Island car accident lawyer for your free consultation and allow our firm to represent you. Call (631) 543-7070 to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation consultation now.